You are here:Liza N. Burby ~ Author, Journalist, Editor, Consultant/Archive for April 2013

I recently attended the NYC Teen Author Festival at the New York Public Library where new and established YA authors talked about their genre. One of the topics was understanding what influences teens. If you know that, then you can create believable characters, conflicts and settings that teen readers will care about. Books for young adults are my main interest, but regardless, one of my mantras in How to Publish Your Children’s Book and my own speaking engagements is that you have to know your audience. That means that no matter what age group you write for, you must be able to tap into their worries,

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If you think Amazon is just for ordering books, DVDs and now household products, you haven’t heard about Amazon Publishing. First there was the opportunity for writers to publish their books on demand. Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing allows writers to publish direct to kindle. Many authors are getting discovered by mainstream publishers and agents through their successful kindle sales. In a future blog I will give you some success stories.

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I’m sad that the 100th webisode of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries—a clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—has aired. It was developed by Hank Green—brother of the award-winning YA novelist John Green (who wrote The Fault in Our Stars, also amazing!)—and Bernie Su. And they are pure genius (the creators as well as the product). I have been watching these twice weekly, 5-minute YouTube episodes since last April and I have been very impressed. At every turn the writers have created a modern twist to the classic novel so that you want to root for Lizzie, Charlotte, Jane and Lydia, all modern 20-somethings with graduate school projects, first-job stresses, and even, in the case of Lydia, an online scandal so big that Twitter and Facebook were on fire earlier this year as we fans all watched in horror. You think that George Wickham can’t possibly be updated for the 21st century? Pullease!

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One of the most powerful young adult books I’ve read is Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, published in 1999. The main character, Melinda, is raped by a classmate, and the author does a powerful job of describing a victim’s inability to speak out about this crime against her and the peer pressure that silences her more.

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